Meta says that cellular networks today are not ready for metaviruses

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the virtual Facebook Connect event, as the company announced its rebranding to Meta, in New York on October 28, 2021.

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deadformerly known as Facebook, said its big ambition to build the ultimate “metaverse” would not be possible if there were no drastic improvements in today’s communication networks.

The metaverse is a buzzword being touted as the next big thing in tech. In general, the concept refers to a seamless virtual world where people can work, shop and play with their colleagues, friends and family.

Home networks and cellular networks are not yet ready for Metaverse, Dan Rabinowitz, vice president of communications for Meta, told CNBC at the Mobile World Congress, Monday.

“We are working closely with our colleagues to think about the next step in terms of innovation,” he said, adding that Meta is also working with cellular partners.

“If you really look at the pace of innovation in the world of telecommunications, compared to other markets, it’s going to be hard to go faster in this area,” Rabinowitz said. “One of the things we’ve tried to change is this path of innovation.”

While there isn’t a real metaverse yet, there are some early projects in the pipeline that give some insight into what it’s all about. The Meta Oculus VR headset has been hailed as a gateway to some of these new metaverse experiences. But the experiments require low latency and higher upload and download speeds.

“We need to develop a common language about network performance,” Rabinowitz said. “We’re actually big believers in scaling as a foundation in this next phase of work.”

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“Creating a true sense of presence in virtual worlds delivered to smart glasses and VR headsets will require massive advances in connectivity,” Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta, said in a statement Sunday.

This should be “bigger than any of the changes we’ve seen before,” Zuckerberg said, adding that things like large-scale immersive video streaming will require entirely new types of network.

In response, AT&T Executive Vice President David Christopher told CNBC that 5G is being rolled out faster than 4G, adding that there is “huge investment across operators.”

He claimed that the networks actually offer low latency, stable speeds, and high capacity. “This will only improve over the next decade to support many use cases across many industries, including immersive and plan-like experiences,” Christopher said.

“As the Metaverse evolves, it will build on innovation and interoperability across many sectors, with advanced connectivity from 5G as a key element.”

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